translated from three speeches by Rudolf Hess between 1934 and 1936 about the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. Buy the Full Set
The first speech describes the very early days of the back then tiny and apparently insignificant NSDAP. The second speech explains why Adolf Hitler, already Reich Chancellor, also becomes Reich President after Hindenburg’s death. The third speech, delivered only five days before the purge of Ernst Röhm, deals with the transformation of the NSDAP from opposition party to ruling party and also denounces the “second revolution”.
Here is an Excerpt:
When I see you in front of me, eight hundred provincial office leaders, and when I reflect that out there throughout the country there are hundreds of thousands of political leaders, then I cannot help but to think back on the time when the first office leader of the movement emerged.
It was in the year 1920. Corporal Adolf Hitler had just become party comrade Adolf Hitler and already dared to employ a man to perform certain tasks in the small office. This quite horrified the whole rest of the party numbering a few dozen, for one was convinced that he was either more or less crazy or an agent of the freemasons or other dark forces with the task to drive the small party to ruin and utterly destroy it. However, he did not employ him full-time, even an Adolf Hitler was not that careless back then. But the man had to come to the office every few days for a few hours in order to there single-handedly take care of everything that you now do in the province, spread among however many individual posts. Above all, naturally, he had the post of treasurer and had to keep the books in order. He did not have a safe at his disposal, instead a cigar box. He had to make sure all the party members were duly registered – not in a card-index, rather in a school notebook – for sometimes several party comrades joined in one week. Above all, he had one advantage: he owned a typewriter, and I believe one was generally convinced that the image of the party vastly improved when letters went out that were not written by hand, rather with a proper typewriter.
The office was located in a very small, modest little room in the Sternecker; perhaps one or the other of you still remembers this little room. The walls looked rather strange. The innkeeper had removed the panelling before he took the risk of renting us the office, because one could not know whether this association, in accordance with old soldier manners, might not use the precious panelling as firewood.
It was there in the Sternecker, too, where I saw the Führer for the first time in my life. In a small room next to the office was where the party discussion evening took place and he made the first speech there that I heard from him in my life. An unfortunate fellow had made the proposal that a committee should be established to oversee the party’s leadership. That was a welcomed subject for the Führer, and I can assure you that this proposal was never made again!
In the same Sternecker almost the whole party in Germany also gathered daily – not in the large hall, rather in a small room, and they completely filled it – in order to eat lunch together. Those were not exactly days of feasting. Each first minutely inspected the menu to see how much everything cost. Generally, the investigation ended with the selection for so-called “Tyrol Roast”; here it is called, I believe, scrambled eggs. But that also only lasted part of the month; near the end of the month our ranks thinned and re-assembled in the public soup kitchen in order to eat there for 10 or 20 pfennig. And the Führer was there, too.
Evenings the whole party, under the direction of party comrade Adolf Hitler, went into the streets and Munich’s dark quarters in order to there conduct leaflet distributions and put up small posters. One fellow carried the glue bucket and the others stood watch at the ends of the road. When a suspicious person appeared – and in general, everybody was suspicious, if they did not belong to our party – and above all if a representative of higher state authority popped up, one endeavored to put on the most harmless face possible; most of the time it was successful, too. The only bothersome and embarrassing thing was the glue bucket. It was very difficult to explain to the representative of the state why one was carrying a glue bucket, especially when freshly pasted posters smelling of glue were anywhere nearby. Although we insisted that every citizen certainly has the right to carry a glue bucket whenever and whoever he pleases, unfortunately the pockets of our military coats were suspiciously stuffed full. A closer inspection revealed the leaflets – in part bloodthirsty, in part reservedly bourgeois in nature. But not of the NSDAP – back then we did not have money in order to print our own leaflets – rather those of the Schutz- und Trutzbund or of a small, anti-Semitic weekly newspaper named the “Völkischer Beobachter” published by God knows whom. Only in time did we manage to find a man in Munich who like us was not in complete agreement with the German government and who differed from us in just one point, namely that he had more money than we; to our amazement he actually put money at our disposal for the printing of our own leaflets.